Updated May 13, 2013 – One of the questions surrounding last year’s acquisition of Bruichladdich by Rémy Cointreau focused on the future of Murray McDavid, the independent bottler that was founded by Mark Reynier, Simon Coughlin, and Gordon Wright in 1996. The company was part of the Bruichladdich acquisition in 2000 by a Reynier-led investment group, and released many bottlings during the decade from 2000-2010, but the number of releases declined in recent years amid speculation that the brand was being wound down.
The questions were answered today (May 8) when Bruichladdich and Rémy announced the sale of Murray McDavid to Aceo Ltd., a Gloucestershire-based whisky broker and industry contractor. Aceo owns and manages its own cask inventory and manages cask inventories, along with blending, bottling, and logistics services for customers.
In a news release provided by Bruichladdich, Aceo director Edward Odim expressed delight at being able to acquire the Murray McDavid brand.
“We have enjoyed excellent relations with Murray McDavid in the past and have always admired its pioneering and irreverent spirit as well as its position in the vanguard of independent bottling. Our intention is to continue the legacy of Murray McDavid by staying true to its founders’ vision and principles such as bottling carefully selected single malts without chill-filtering or adding colour and continuing and developing the tradition of Ace-ing casks. Aceo Limited and Murray McDavid Limited will be run as separate companies. Murray McDavid will be independently managed by individuals previously involved in its running, who understand its roots and are committed to building on its achievements.”
The announcement was not specific on who those individuals would be. Simon Coughlin replaced Mark Reynier as Bruichladdich’s managing director after the sale, and indicated that one member of Bruichladdich’s sales team would be moving over to Aceo as part of the transition. The new company will not have any ties to Reynier, who has left the whisky industry behind. Wright owns his own independent bottler, Alchemist Beverage Company, and cut his ties with Murray McDavid several years ago.
Jim McEwan was responsible for selecting casks for Murray McDavid bottlings under Bruichladdich’s ownership. However, there’s no word on whether he will continue to have a role with Murray McDavid in the future.